I don't know what he does to make his hood so wonky.
My ultimate goals for Stinker have been to get my bronze medal in dressage and low level eventing at least publicly. I haven't admitted that I also was really hoping to get my silver medal and really go as high up in eventing as I can. Keep in mind I am currently a little terrified of BN cross country fences. Stadium doesn't really scare me because they fall down. Either way, I don't have high goals for eventing mainly because I am a chicken shit and I am ok with that. But the bronze medal is very reasonable and I think with the right coaching/horse combo silver is within my reach. Gold medal would be awesome but I feel like that is a stretch for me to even consider.
Ever since Stinker was treated for EPM, I have been struggling with his potential. Part of me says oh it will just take time and part of me says that he is permanently changed. I finally got the balls (ok well not really since I sent it in a text to S who passed it onto the vet) to ask the vet if 4th level/PSG was going to be too much for Stinker. Unfortunately, the vet gave me the answer I was expecting and didn't want to hear. He does not think that Stinker will be capable of that work. I didn't even ask about starting over fences.
So what does that mean long term? Nothing is changing. I have plenty of time to meet my goals, it isn't like my job in the future depends on my equine qualifications. I am going to do the best I can with Stinker and see where this journey leads us. He is happy and sound, which he wasn't the better part of last year. Once I actually see where he tops out, I will revisit things. Maybe I will be in a position to afford two horses. Maybe I will be so broke from paying his vet bills that I can't afford anything. Maybe I will have an awesome lower level horse and I can sell him to a good home.
I am just glad that I have the answers and while it wasn't the best answer, the reality of the situation is I am not any farther from my goals than I was before. I had a training level dressage horse before he had EMP and I still have a training level dressage horse. It isn't like I was almost there, so we are just going to keep on keeping on and see what happens.
I should add the vet wasn't all doom and gloom. He thinks that Stinker looks the best he has since the start of the lameness late last spring, so we are doing things right. He also stated that it was just his opinion and he could be wrong.
I am adjusting my goals a bit. Before I was talking about showing training dressage this spring. I am going to back off of that and shift it to the fall. I really want to take the time to get his top line back to where D had it pre EPM. I am hoping (it may be foolish but don't burst my bubble) that if I can get his top line back into working order, I can help strengthen his hind end up and hopefully extend his longevity.
Pre EPM Photos
Post EMP Photos